Messy Game Ideas: A Cheap Way To Splash Into School

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Boy with watermelon helmet
At the beginning of the summer, my elementary teachers had the idea of having water games one Sunday morning for our elementary aged children. We decided to plan it after VBS with the intention of inviting our VBS attendees.
“Splash Into School From VBS” took place during the Worship Service hour. Our kids loved it and it gave us the opportunity of reaching the parents by having them attend Worship during our event. I came up with games based on a lot of supplies we already had—This ended up being a fairly cheap event to pull off and our kids “soaked” it up!
We would love to hear your feedback or suggestions for making these games better. Click here to share your ideas with other readers. You can also share your favorite messy games for kids.

Watermelon Head

Supplies: large melons, cans of Crisco, long plastic tarps
Team members will roll a Crisco coated melon down the plastic tarp with their heads. First team that has each member complete the task wins. For extra fun have teams decorate their melon first.

Pass the Water

Supplies: big trash cans, Styrofoam cups with holes poked in them
Directions: Poke holes in Styrofoam cups. Children line up side by side in between the trash can full of water and the empty trash can. The line leader next to the full trash can fill the cups with holes in them and passes it down the line of children. The team that collects the most water wins. This is similar to our 10 water game ideas.

Let’s Go Fishing

Supplies: donuts, chocolate syrup, poles & yarn, & chairs
Directions: Make a fishing pole using the poles and yarn. Tie a donut to the yarn and drizzle chocolate syrup all over the donut. Teams will each pick members to hold the pole and members to eat the donut. Children being fed a donut sit in the chair and the children using the pole to feed them stand with the pole over their heads dangling the donut in front of the seated child. The donut must be eaten without the use of hands—the seated child can only use his or her mouth to eat the donut.

Head Dunk

Supplies: buckets & water
Directions: Team members will duck their heads in the bucket of water and then run down to the empty bucket and squeeze their hair into it. The team with the most water wins.

Fish for Marbles

Supplies: small pool, containers of oatmeal, marbles
Directions: Pour the oats into the pool & add water to make it ankle-deep (you want it nice and thick). Each team member must fish in the pool of oatmeal for 3 marbles and pull them out with their toes.

Buckets & Sponges

Supplies: buckets & large sponges
Directions: Each team will have a bucket of water. Team members must fill their sponges with the water and run to the empty bucket. When time ends, the team with the most collected water wins.


Supplies: sponge or small cup, bucket of water
Directions: This is very similar to duck-duck-goose, except the drop water on each child’s head instead of tagging them. Watch our full video demonstration here.

Relay Games

Supplies: Whatever you have available; We used hoola hoops, plastic cones, balls, & bubbles with wands
Directions: Leader spins each child 5 times. Each child must hoola hoop for 10 seconds, stand behind the cone line and shoot a ball into the bucket, blow five wands of bubbles, complete 10 jumping jacks, and then run back to the start line and tag the next team member.
These game ideas were a big hit with the kids at church. They would also work as messy youth ministry games or even birthday party games. Click here to leave your comments or suggest your own ideas.

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